The White House’s TikTok Briefing Isn’t Really That Strange

Last night's "SNL" satirized the meeting

TikTok logo
A TikTok logo on a smartphone screen.
Fabian Sommer/picture alliance via Getty Images

The idea that President Biden would host a briefing for a number of prominent TikTok personalities can sounds surreal at first glance. On last night’s Saturday Night Live, the cold open was a comic riff on this very real event — and, when the opening narration featured the phrase “a national security briefing with some of the nation’s top TikTok creators,” you can hear muted laughter.

That continues into the sketch itself, with Kate McKinnon’s Jen Psaki revealing that she suggested the meeting as a joke and James Austin Johnson’s Joe Biden dubbing himself “the land line of presidents.”

But the initial report about the actual briefing — by Taylor Lorenz at The Washington Post — makes it clear that, yes, a lot of people are getting the information about the situation in Ukraine from TikTok. It certainly seems like courting influential personalities there and working to combat disinformation are both laudable goals.

Which isn’t to criticize SNL for doing the sketch — the premise does sound like the introduction to something comedic, even if the real-life event itself was a lot more logical than it sounds on paper. And, to be fair, the sketch — SNL‘s second riff on TikTok this season — was pretty funny, and did feature a pretty solid argument for why such a briefing makes sense. Admittedly, it was delivered by Bowen Yang while wearing a plunger over one nipple, but still.

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